Cyprss Hills Provincial Park started as a Forest Reserve created in 1906. The Forest Reserve expanded
in 1910 to encompass most of the Cypress Hills area, including area of the present park. This area was designated an
Interprovincial Park in 1989, linking parks in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The Cypress Hills in an island of forest in the dry prairies. It consists of a unique mixture of boreal,
montane, and prairie habitats, providing a home for wildlife and birds far from their normal ranges. The Cypress Hills are
famous for containing many orchids. In this area, you can also find exposures of several unique geological formations and
there are important archaeological sites including the 7,000 year old Stampede site and Metis wintering villages. Go To Human History for More Information
A bull elk or wapiti. Postcard. Photograph by O. Tarnasky.
Size and Elevaton
Covering 20,250 hectares (50,000 acres), Cypress Hills Provincial Park reaches an elevation of
1466 meters at the highest point known as the Head of the Mountain. The Elkwater townsite is at 1234 meters.
The Park consists of 13 campgrounds with a total of 550 campsites, ranging from walk-in tenting
to fully-serviced sites with showers. As well, there are three group camps and two groups day use sites. Consisting
of day use areas, beach, playgrounds, nature trails, interpretive viewpoints, and a Visitor Centre, the Park is open year-round
with winter services available.
Elkwater Townsite Facilities
Situated within Cypress Hills Provincial Park, the Elkwater townsite consists of a motel, service
station, grocery store, laundromat, dumping station, post office, marina, boat and bike rental, and church.
Year Round Recreation
In the summer, there is camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking, swimming, sunbathing,
water-skiing, biking, interpretive programs, wildlife viewing, and golf. In the winter, you can take part in skiing cross-country
ski trails or the downhill ski area, ice fishing, snow shoeing, tobogganing, and winter camping.
View of Elkwater townsite from the hill known as "Old Baldy".
Postcard. Photograph by O. Tarnasky.
The Visitor Center with displays and audio-visual programs is open during the summer months. In
addition, interpretive programs run from mid-May to early September. The programs include hikes, auto tours, children's
programs, and programs upon request in the winter months. Program schedules are posted throughout the park, however,
you can call for exact times or more information.
Group Bookings and Campsite Reservations
Only selected campgrounds within the Park offer campsite reservations which can be done by phoning
(403)893-3782 after May 1. Group camps and day use areas can also be reserved by phoning (403)893-3835 year round.
School group tours can be booked for late spring and early fall, however, there is limited tours available for booking by other
organized groups. Call (403)893-3777 for more information.